Cold-shooting Cougars Fall to Notre Dame | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cold-shooting Cougars Fall to Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame fans saluted their newest favorite son, Troy Murphy, with repeated chants of "two more years" as he exited the floor at the Joyce Center on Wednesday night.

Murphy had just led Notre Dame (21-14) to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals in New York with a 64-52 win over BYU, but the Irish faithful knew there was likely plenty to come from Murphy. Only a sophomore, and already a first-team All-America selection, Murphy still has two years to pay back the NCAA Tournament selection committee for this year's snub.

As for the Cougars (22-11), just one night against the 6-7, 235-pounder and what seemed like a never-ending supply of big men on the part of the Fighting Irish was plenty.

Murphy led all scorers with 19 points and nine rebounds and the Notre Dame zone defense held BYU to a dismal 37-percent shooting performance.

"They were huge," BYU forward Mekeli Wesley said. "I can see why they play zone the whole game -- they're big, huge, strong and not that quick. They just clog up the middle."

Still, even first-year coach Matt Doherty wasn't quite willing to give all the credit to his squad's defensive effort.

"We were very patient with our zone. I was itching to get out of it because they were getting some open looks," Doherty said.

"I was really happy with our zone offense, to tell you the truth, considering we haven't run it all year. We got everything we wanted out of it," BYU coach Steve Cleveland said.

True enough. BYU did manage to hoist up a season-high 29 3-pointers, but converted just eight of those attempts. That stat includes the Cougars' opening barrage, in which they nailed three consecutive treys to go up 9-3.

"If you don't make them on the road, you're not going to win," Cleveland said.

The bulk of the 3s came from Terrell Lyday, who finished with just 8 points, and Michael Vranes, who matched Wesley and reserve John Allen for team-high honors with 10 points. Vranes and Lyday were a combined 4-of-19 (21 percent) from behind the arc and a 6-of-26 (23 percent) overall from the field.

"We pretty much got what we expected, in terms of what they did defensively against us. We got all the open shots we needed," Cleveland said. "It was unfortunate that my leading 3-point shooter went down with a twisted knee."

Cleveland was referring to Todd Christensen, a 42-percent 3-point shooter. Christensen went down midway through the first half with a sublocation of his left knee cap. It was a recurring injury for Christensen, who could have played in an emergency.

Allen was a pleasant surprise in the first half, scoring all 10 of his points before the break. It was that performance that somehow kept the Cougars in the game. Mysteriously, BYU trailed just 38-32 at intermission, despite allowing the Irish to shoot 60 percent and with Wesley on the bench with foul trouble from the 8:27 mark on.

Allen even drilled a 3-pointer over Murphy with 21 seconds remaining in the half to cut the lead to 4 before a Jere Macura shot at the buzzer.

The second half was more of the same. The Cougars continued to hang around, despite their own horrid shooting (30 percent for the half) and allowing the Irish to shoot for a high percentage (56 percent). It was, however, their defense that kept the deficit reasonably small. BYU forced Notre Dame into 18 turnovers.

"We played good enough defense. When you hold a team to 64 points, that should be good enough to win on the road," Cleveland said.

But when the Irish turned it over on three straight possessions then missed a pair of shots after that, the Cougars could only close the gap to 50-45 with 10:13 to play. Notre Dame answered with a 10-2 run.

Jimmy Dillon got things going with a steal and breakaway layup. Wesley hit a jumper to cut the lead back to 5, but the crowd erupted when David Graves nailed a 3 on the other end. Graves had a layup to push the lead to 10. Following a Vranes miss, Mike Monserez ended any doubt with a 3-pointer from the corner, right in front of the Irish bench.

Notre Dame moves on to Tuesday's semifinal game at Madison Square Garden against Penn State.

Official Basketball Box Score -- GAME TOTALS -- FINAL STATISTICS

BYU vs Notre Dame

3-22-00 9:00 p.m. at Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN

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VISITORS: BYU (22-11)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

15 Wesley, Mekeli...... f 4-7 2-4 0-2 0 2 2 5 10 1 1 0 0 24

25 Nielsen, Eric....... f 2-5 0-0 2-2 1 2 3 3 6 1 1 0 1 35

13 Vranes, Michael..... g 3-12 2-8 2-3 3 2 5 2 10 0 0 1 2 35

24 Lyday, Terrell...... g 3-14 2-11 0-0 1 1 2 1 8 1 2 1 1 38

31 Montague, Matt...... g 3-6 0-0 0-0 3 0 3 1 6 8 6 0 1 34

04 Christensen, Todd... 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

10 Allen, John......... 4-5 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 3 10 0 1 0 0 14

42 Cooper, Nathan...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 2 0 0 0 11

50 Nielsen, David...... 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 5

TEAM................ 2 1 3 1

Totals.............. 20-54 8-29 4-7 11 11 22 18 52 13 12 2 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 .444 2nd Half: 8-27 .296 Game: .370 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-14 .429 2nd Half: 2-15 .133 Game: .276 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 2-3 .667 2nd Half: 2-4 .500 Game: .571 1,1

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HOME TEAM: Notre Dame (21-14)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

03 Murphy, Troy........ f 5-10 1-3 8-8 0 9 9 1 19 1 5 2 2 37

34 Graves, David....... f 5-8 3-3 0-1 0 5 5 3 13 2 1 0 0 35

42 Swanagan, Harold.... c 3-3 0-0 1-1 1 5 6 3 7 1 4 0 1 23

13 Carroll, Matt....... g 3-7 1-4 0-0 1 1 2 1 7 5 4 0 0 27

21 Dillon, Jimmy....... g 1-1 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 0 4 6 1 0 4 31

11 Kartelo, Ivan....... 1-1 0-0 5-6 0 1 1 2 7 0 0 2 0 13

15 Macura, Jere........ 2-3 0-1 0-0 2 0 2 0 4 1 1 1 0 11

22 Monserez, Mike...... 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 14

24 Ingelsby, Martin.... 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9

TEAM................ 3 3 1

Totals.............. 21-36 6-14 16-18 4 25 29 10 64 16 18 5 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-20 .600 2nd Half: 9-16 .562 Game: .583 DEADBALL

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 4-8 .500 2nd Half: 2-6 .333 Game: .429 REBOUNDS

F Throw % 1st Half: 10-11 .909 2nd Half: 6-7 .857 Game: .889 1

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Officials: Bill Kaminski, Dennis Bracco, Joe Curtis

Technical fouls: BYU-None. Notre Dame-None.

Attendance: 8845

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

BYU........................... 32 20 - 52

Notre Dame.................... 38 26 - 64

2000 National Invitation Tournament, Quarterfinals